Senior players Kayla Nsien and Shelbi Lousch expected to finish out their collegiate soccer careers with success. Those hopes were swept away when both players suffered from surprising ACL injuries.
According to a study done at the University of California, more than 200,000 cases of ACL injuries occur annually, and 70 percent of them are sports related.
“I didn’t want to accept that I’d torn my ACL; I never thought it would happen,” said Lousch. “Being injured had taught me a lot about character and how to play a different role in helping my team.”
Lousch, a Sapulpa native, had a relatively successful career at ORU. As a freshman, she started 17 games, and became an All-Summit League Freshman Team selection. She helped lead a backline that only allowed a record 17 goals last season.
“After having a record-breaking season last year, I expected to come back and do the same this year,” said Lousch. “My biggest fear happened, and it hurts not to be able to compete.”
Lousch went down four games into the season, and soon after, Nsien suffered the same injury.
“I was defending a teammate during practice, and as I stuck my leg out, I felt a pop and there was immediate swelling,” said Nsien.
For the fifth year senior from Tulsa, Nsien was all too familiar with the ocurring injury.
“I tore the ACL in my left leg my freshman season while playing at Creighton,” she said. “The first time didn’t really bother me because I knew I had four years left to play, but this time all I could think was, I’m done.”
Both seniors were expected to play
integral leadership roles for the Golden Eagles this season.
“My team needed me as captain and to play defense, since I’m hurt I had to learn how to lead in other ways,” said Nsien.
Despite the heartache of sitting out the season, both players feel they have grown stronger mentally and most importantly spiritually.
“I think this experience taught me that soccer isn’t everything,” said Nsien. “I focused so much on what I loved to do and never really spent valuable time with God; my priorities weren’t in the right order.”